SFA renews call for small business support in Budget 2024

September 25, 2023

The Small Firms Association (SFA) is urging the Government to provide certainty on costs and maintain competitiveness as we approach Budget 2024.

The call comes as small business owners await a government study into the combined effect of recently imposed employment law measures on both employers and employees. Small Firms Association (SFA) Director David Broderick said: “Costs for small business owners are at a never seen before high. Now is not the time for government to impose more costs on small business.

“2024 will see the introduction of a statutory retirement savings system, a rise in the national minimum wage and statutory sick pay will increase to 5 days. 2023 has already seen the introduction of a statutory sick pay scheme, a new public holiday, and significant changes in employment regulations, all of which have resulted in greater pressures on Ireland’s micro and small employers and eroded competitiveness.

“The cost of labour is the most significant driver of business costs in small firms amounting to 82% of overall monthly costs, these cumulative impacts are causing major concern amongst small business owners.

“Ireland cannot allow its competitiveness to be threatened by costs imposed by government. In Budget 2024 SFA is seeking a two-year lead-in period following the Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings System Bill being passed and signed, to allow business to be ready for the cost and implementation and for supports to be put in place for small firms struggling with the introduction of the living wage.

“Small companies don’t have the capacity and time to cope with complex administration or be held back by lengthy processes, that is why we are also calling for the application of the SME Test across all government departments without exception including amendments introduced during the legislative process and for better coordination on the introduction of new legislation.”

“Government must place small business at the heart of Budget 2024, to keep Ireland’s competitive edge”, Broderick concluded.

Small business priorities for Budget 2024:

  • Tackle the increasing costs of doing business
  • Sustain investment and reward and retain talent through the tax system
  • Support small businesses to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving business environment
  • Create an inclusive and diverse small business community


Issued by Elizabeth Bowen, Public Affairs Lead , SFA, 087 188 2951.


The SFA proudly represents a diverse membership of businesses with less than 50 employees: homegrown and spanning every sector of our economy. Our members can be found in every town and every city in Ireland.

More information about the SFA is available at www.sfa.ie or on Twitter @SFA_Irl.